The Polar Pacer Professional is pitched at runners, however it’s undoubtedly a multi-sport watch that may attraction to swimmers, cyclists and triathletes too. Add in a few of Polar’s finest software program options – introduced over from its pricier Vantage and Grit X watches – wrapped up in a light-weight design, and this may be Polar’s best-value sports activities watch proper now.
- Slim, light-weight design
- Snappier efficiency than different Polar watches
- Plenty of helpful coaching instruments and insights
- Battery life drain outdoors of monitoring
- Unattractive black bezel
- Smartwatch options aren’t implausible
- UKRRP: £259
- USARRP: $299
Sat-nav abilitiesFlip-by-turn steering powered by Komoot
Smartwatch extrasNotifications and music controls
Battery LifeYou may get round 7 days from a single cost
The Polar Pacer Professional is a multi-sport watch that joins the cheaper Pacer mannequin as choices firmly geared toward runners. It affords navigation options, metrics comparable to working energy, and Polar’s wealthy coaching insights in a slim, light-weight design.
The Pacer Professional’s $299/£259 value places it within the firm of Garmin’s Forerunner 245 and the Coros Apex, making it the perfect possibility for these on the lookout for a watch that goes past the fundamentals, however who don’t wish to pay the massive bucks for Polar’s top-end Vantage and Grit X watches.
Contemplate that value and the extent of options that Polar is promising right here, and the Professional has all of the hallmarks of being an important mid-range sports activities watch.
- 45mm case dimension
- 1.2-inch, MIP show
- Interchangeable straps
- Weighs 45g
- Obtainable in 4 totally different colors
The Pacer Professional clearly takes design cues from the model’s Vantage V-series watches, sporting an analogous round look and array of properly grippy bodily buttons dotted across the show.
It’s a 45mm-sized plastic case with an aluminium bezel that measures 11.5mm thick and, together with the strap, the system weighs in at simply 41g. It’s obtainable in your decide of gray, white, blue or maroon bands. In case you like your sports activities watches mild and slim, then that’s precisely what you’re getting right here. It’s waterproof as much as a depth of fifty metres, too, which suggests it’s additionally match for use for swims.
The 20mm bands that maintain that case are interchangeable, however it’s a proprietary setup, which suggests it’s important to follow Polar’s personal straps. The strap proved comfy, though I did discover it retained moisture on sporting it for lengthy durations.
There’s no touchscreen right here, which isn’t a deal-breaker in my view; however it has all of the hallmarks of different Polar screens. It’s a 1.2-inch, 240 x 240-resolution Reminiscence In Pixel-style display screen with Gorilla Glass to supply a level of safety. Whereas meaning it’s a color panel with robust viewing angles in vivid mild, it’s nowhere close to as vibrant as an OLED or LCD display screen.
On the intense aspect, Polar has given the Pacer Professional a processor increase, which suggests navigating via screens is nowhere close to as laggy as is the expertise on the Vantage, Grit X and Ignite watches. Nevertheless, what’s disappointing is that the black bezel encompass is large and actually eats into potential display screen property.
Across the again of the system you’ll discover Polar’s Precision Prime optical coronary heart charge sensor know-how and the charging level, which sees Polar transfer away from the disc-shaped cradle of the Vantage, Grit X and Ignite watches, for one thing that I can’t say is essentially a greater method to cost; however is a smaller setup, nonetheless.
Monitoring and Options
- Wrist-based working energy
- Flip-by-turn steering
- FuelWise reminders
The Pacer Professional affords lots from that slim kind issue. You’ll be able to benefit from sports activities modes aplenty, heaps of metrics, and Polar’s good teaching, coaching and evaluation options as properly. It additionally brings a few of Polar’s finest new software program additions in recent times, together with its helpful FitSpark prompt exercises, FuelWise fuelling reminders (which first debuted with its Grit X outside watch), and working energy from the wrist, which is a measurement of efficiency that does take a while to familiarize yourself with to take advantage of it.
The expertise of monitoring, coaching and analysing your periods is strong total, and if you’d like a sports activities watch that covers the important thing bases, the Polar Pacer Professional does a very good job.
Hit the underside button on the left aspect of the case to enter monitoring mode, which incorporates profiles for actions comparable to working, mountain biking, pool swimming, climbing and there’s a triathlon mode right here, too. You’ll be able to add extra profiles from the Polar Circulate companion telephone app, which might throw plenty of information at you, so it’s value spending time to familiarise your self with the platform to make sure you get probably the most from the Pacer Professional.
I used the system to trace runs, pool swims and normal cardio and HIIT exercises and, usually, monitoring accuracy was akin to my expertise with different Polar watches I’ve examined not too long ago.
For working, there’s help for GPS, Glonass, Galileo and QZSS satellite tv for pc techniques, with assisted-GPS tech to hurry up getting a sign repair. I nonetheless discovered I used to be ready longer than I’d like for that sign, however when it did lock on, the info was good total. I in contrast it primarily to Garmin’s very correct Epix watch, and whereas metrics comparable to distance monitoring and common tempo didn’t solely match up, they had been shut sufficient for us to really feel the Pacer Professional was dependable.
Polar’s Precision Prime coronary heart charge sensor know-how affords among the finest wrist-based coronary heart charge information for train obtainable, however it does battle to maintain up with sudden spikes and drops in coronary heart charge throughout high-intensity exercises. Polar recommends pairing up the system with one in all its gold-standard coronary heart charge monitor chest straps to treatment that; however for regular runs and exercises, the info was superb towards a chest strap monitor.
It’s additionally good to see a few options that first appeared on Polar’s pricier watches. The primary is FuelWise, which is beneficial for many who could also be working or coaching for hours, or days, to higher gauge when and the way a lot to refuel their physique as a way to make it to the top of the session.
Polar additionally contains mapping and navigation help, letting you add routes by way of third-party app Komoot. Plus, there’s a helpful again to the beginning function right here, too. The mapping expertise is fairly fundamental; you have to to fork out for Komoot to take advantage of the help.
The place Polar actually begins to separate itself from the competitors is with the extent of study and training options on provide. This even extends to sleep monitoring, that will help you pay higher consideration to that all-important restoration time.
You get Polar’s Coaching Load Professional and Cardio Load standing insights to higher decide when it’s best to prepare to hit your optimum coaching durations. Dig into particular person exercises and additionally, you will see working index scores and a breakdown of the vitality sources used to gasoline exercises via coronary heart charge information.
Polar now provides a method to evaluate present health ranges, particularly geared toward those that are new to train and working. It requires you to stroll steadily, maintaining your coronary heart charge above 124bpm to efficiently full the check to gauge your present cardio health. For me, that proved fairly a excessive minimal coronary heart charge for strolling, so it was one I struggled to place to the check.
The Pacer Professional does double up as an exercise tracker and sleep monitor, too; however counting steps doesn’t really feel as a lot of a precedence as Polar’s wealthy sleep stats, which I discovered supplied among the most correct sleep information from the wrist. These embody its Nightly Recharge insights, that are designed to tell coaching instances primarily based on sleep high quality and the way properly your autonomic nervous system (ANS) calms through the early hours of that tracked sleep time.
On the smartwatch entrance, there’s nonetheless some work to be carried out. Polar affords notifications, the flexibility to view climate forecasts, change watch faces, entry music controls inside and out of doors of coaching, plus you possibly can activate a Do Not Disturb mode for these instances you don’t wish to be distracted.
All notifications should be considered from a devoted menu, and whereas the increase in efficiency makes music controls much less painful to make use of, it’s the sort of function the place touchscreen controls would have been welcome. It’s useful that you may entry them throughout exercises.
- As much as seven days’ battery life
- As much as 35 hours of GPS battery life
- 100 hours in Energy Save coaching mode
The Pacer Professional packs a 265mAh capability battery that Polar says can ship as much as seven days on a single cost, which is the minimal I’d count on to see from a sports activities watch at this value.
For monitoring, you possibly can count on 35 hours with GPS use, with that growing to 100 hours in Polar’s Energy Save coaching mode. The latter adjusts the GPS recording charge and switches off coronary heart charge monitoring whenever you enter monitoring mode.
If you keep in mind the options obtainable, whether or not that’s all-day monitoring, smartwatch options and common use of GPS, battery life is way nearer to 5 days on common. Whereas it might be attainable to see the Pacer Professional make it to seven days, in my expertise, it’s been fewer days.
Surprisingly, the primary offender for battery drain doesn’t seem like monitoring your exercises. The largest drops seem like the results of Polar’s wealthy sleep-tracking options and people nightly recharge measurements – and it’s a disgrace there’s no choice to disable the choice.
Must you purchase it?
You need a feature-rich, well-priced sports activities watch In case you have a look at what else sits across the value of the Pacer Professional, then this system affords strong worth for cash by way of efficiency and the metrics, insights and coaching instruments you’ve got at your disposal.
You need your sports activities watch to play smartwatch too Polar’s energy doesn’t lie with its efficiency as a smartwatch. The execution of options comparable to notifications and music controls pale compared to Garmin fashions and smartwatches that sit across the identical value.
In case you’re an proprietor of a current Polar watch already, then the Polar Pacer Professional received’t really feel wholly totally different in use. Nevertheless, what it does is to take most of Polar’s finest software program options and provide them up at a extra engaging value. If you would like a tool that’s properly constructed to trace runs, rides and extra, affords a very good wrist HR efficiency and is a watch you possibly can add routes to as properly, the Pacer Professional delivers that and extra.
How we check
We totally check each smartwatch we evaluate. We use trade customary testing to check options correctly and we use the watch as our primary system over the evaluate interval. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluate a product.
Worn as our primary smartwatch through the testing interval
Coronary heart charge information in contrast towards devoted coronary heart charge gadgets
Aspect-by-side GPS comparability with our greatest scoring smartwatches
The important thing variations between the Polar Pacer and Pacer Professional is that the Pacer most notably misses out on the route navigation, barometric altimeter and wrist-based working measurements you get with the Professional.
Whereas Polar is pitching the Pacer Professional at runners, it’s able to monitoring a spread of different actions together with swimming. Meaning you possibly can view real-time metrics comparable to distance, relaxation instances and lap counts.